X-Men: Days Of Future Past: Halle Berry Is IN

It appears that next year's time-slicing sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past will add yet another important mutant alumnus to its already-amazing cast. Halle Berry has confirmed that (at least, as far as she knows,) she will reprise her role as weather-wielding mutant and de facto leader of the X-Men, Ororo Munroe aka Storm.

In an interview with Access Hollywood, the Oscar-winning actress, in promoting her new kidnapping thriller, The Call, fielded the inevitable X-Men question with an answer in the positive.

“I’m in. I think I’m in.” Adding, “I am [excited], yeah. I love Storm. That’s one of my favorite characters that I’ve played. And people love that character as well.”

Berry would also echo those sentiments in an interview with BlackTree TV that seemingly solidifies the news:

"The fans really love Storm, and so I'm really happy that it's worked out that way. No matter what my part will be or won't be, to be a part of that is always a good thing. I love it.

Berry does seem to acknowledge the possibility that her role would (much like in the original Days of Future Past comic book story,) be limited, at best. However, it does seem that for her, and likely the others, reprising this role will be a labor of love. Indeed, Berry joins a crowded cast that includes heavies like Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, and just about EVERYONE that has even a passing connection to the original X-Men trilogy and its rebooted 2011 prequel, X-Men: First Class. As a consequence of director, Bryan Singer "getting the band back together," pretty much ANY scene that contains even a speaking role will likely be considered prime real estate.

It will be interesting to see what's in store for Halle Berry's Storm when the Sentinel-centric X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters like a conjured tornado of awesomeness on July 18, 2014.


Justice League Movie Taken Over By Christopher Nolan?

Has the allegedly chaotic state of the Justice League live action movie lead to it getting a famous taskmaster? Well, according to a report by Latino Review, Warner Bros. studio has handed the reigns of their would-be franchise to the one and only Christopher Nolan.

As the story goes, Nolan would oversee the Justice League film as a producer armed with extreme discretion at his disposal. Possibly serving alongside him as co-producer could be Zack Snyder, director of this summer's Superman reboot, Man of Steel. Given how things fare at the box-office for the Blue Bomber's bounce-back, Snyder may even be given the okay to direct the ensuing mega-movie. However, the primary theme of the report is that Christopher Nolan, much like Joss Whedon with Marvel Studios' Avengers films and J.J. Abrams overseeing both Star Trek and Star Wars, would be a puppet master in his own right for Warner Bros.' ambitious plans to recreate the lucrative crossover magic that worked so swimmingly for Marvel.

What could be the most notable benefit of this proposed "Chris-tatorship," may come in the form of the renewed feasibility that Nolan's Batman, Christian Bale could reprise his role for the spinoff film, starting the team-up of DC Comics titans alongside Henry Cavill's Superman. While Bale has said that last year's The Dark Knight Rises would be his last grizzled-voiced outing in the black bat-suit, he also did indicate that a possible return depended solely upon Nolan's involvement.

How did things come to this? Apparently, through a bit of trial and error.

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Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Gets Gary Oldman

It appears that next year's sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will be graced with the presence of one of the movie biz's premiere chameleons in Gary Oldman.

He's fought alongside Batman, taken on Soviet spies, broke up The Sex Pistols, and has even escaped from Azkaban. However, according to the report by Deadline, Oldman has been thrust into this ape apocalypse allegory as a character called "Dreyfus," described as a leader in the human resistance movement. Putting that into context, this film, a sequel to 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, will reportedly take place some 15 years after the last film in a world that is overrun by the Adderall Apes. The focus will shift between a small group of San Francisco-based scientist survivors and a returning motion-captured Andy Serkis as principal of the primates, Caesar.  

With the recent announcement that Jason Clarke of Zero Dark Thirty was cast as the film's still-unnamed protagonist, we can assume that he heads the small ragtag group who eventually meet up with Oldman's larger, more formal resistance cell. However, it's still anyone's guess whether Oldman's character will be a friendly sage type or if he ends up being an unhinged megalomaniacal antagonist created by the unfavorable elements of the ape apocalypse.

Regardless, the addition of Oldman, just coming off his final go as James Gordon in The Dark Knight Rises and soon set for next year's RoboCop remake, is a great coup for this sequel which makes the somewhat risky move of not featuring its previous star, James Franco. A name like Oldman's attached to the film should alleviate some of that risk.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes flings bodily waste at paying onlookers at theaters on May 23, 2014.


The Hobbit: There And Back Again Pushed To December 2014

The third and final installment of the current Middle Earth trilogy, The Hobbit: There and Back Again has been given a new release date. Originally scheduled to conclude at theaters on July 18, 2014, fans will now have to patiently wait five whole months for its new release date: December 17, 2014.

If anything, the move should satiate any potential OCD objectors since the new date falls more in line with the traditional December releases of The Lord of the Rings trilogy from 2001-2003, last year's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 14) and this year's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (December 13). However, speculation is attributing the reason for the move being primarily due to the Shire swan song sharing its previous July 18 release date with a little obscure art house movie called X-Men: Days of Future Past. (You know, the upcoming X-Men sequel that's essentially going to star EVERYONE, EVER?) Thus, the move was a wise choice, ensuring that this new trilogy does not sail off to Valinor with the narrative of a knock-down, drag-out box-office struggle dominating headlines.

For fans who have been waiting over a decade to get this live-action take on the iconic kick-off to J.R.R. Tolkien's literary universe, the five month delay shouldn't be too much of a struggle; especially with the second film, The Desolation of Smaug still being relatively fresh in their minds.

Likely containing heart-wrenching drama, a sublime take on "The Battle of Five Armies," and a tear-jerking conclusion on its menu, The Hobbit: There and Back Again will hopefully still prove itself to be an unforgettable conclusion to Peter Jackson's Middle Earth movies. -- Just five months later.


Hulk Solo Movie Rumors Now In Question?

As some may recall, Latino Review dropped a major bombshell back in the beginning of this month with what seemed to be a detailed run-down of where Mark Ruffalo's version of The Hulk from The Avengers winds up throughout Marvel Studios' continuity-connected Phase Two and Phase Three set of films. Well, according to a report from Ain't It Cool News, that whole thing may have been an illusion concocted by Loki, as their sources say it is "1,000% inaccurate."

To briefly recap, the LR rumor implied that Ruffalo's Hulk would start to lose control of his destructive rage, culminating in a moment in Marvel's Phase Two denouement, The Avengers 2 in 2015, where members of a movie version of Marvel's team of powerful super-thinkers, The Illuminati exile Hulk in space. He eventually lands on the war-torn planet, Sakaar, setting things up for a solo film that would be a take on the popular comic book storyline, "Planet Hulk." This would allegedly culminate in Phase Three with The Avengers 3 where Hulk, bitter over his exile, returns to Earth with an invading army of aliens; a take on the comic book storyline, "World War Hulk." -- So, all of that, at least, according to AICN, is NOT happening.

AICN's "debunking" (if you will) of the LR story also brings up the infeasibility of a "Planet Hulk" solo movie being rooted in the idea that the Bruce Banner character was not in the storyline. While it is true that you can't just have an all-CG Hulk movie without a human protagonist, it's an aspect that could easily be fixed by simply tweaking the story and having Hulk turn to Banner when he's not doing his "Alien Gladiator" thing in the arenas of Sakaar. (After all, The Avengers introduced the idea that Banner CAN change into Hulk at will, since he's "always angry.") While we don't know for sure what kind of Hulk solo movie could be in the works, it is all but inevitable that we are getting one, considering that Ruffalo signed a six-picture deal with Marvel. (And they can't all be cameos and Avengers sequels.)

Of course, Marvel Studios, who prefer to keep their secrets close, aren't likely to step in and settle the debate. That leaves these conflicting reports as fodder for a potential (albeit gentlemanly, given the AICN report's civil language) battle of Internet entertainment journalists. At this point, there's no substantive evidence leading one to conclude who is right or wrong.



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reboot Gets New Release Date

It appears that the upcoming Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot film will be emerging further down the pipeline than previously scheduled. Last set for May 16, 2014, the yet-to-be-titled franchise film revival is now set to emerge from its proverbial manhole on June 6, 2014.

For a project that has been delayed several times and at one point was even marked for Christmas 2013, the three-week move is probably not a huge deal. However, it is noteworthy that the May 16 date would have put it in direct debut competition with the Warner Bros. Godzilla reboot project starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, and Elizabeth Olsen. At the moment, June 6 should leave the mutated...err, alien reptilian foursome relatively unopposed from the initial wave of summer movie heavy hitters like Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (May 2), and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (May 23).

Yet, at the same time, the June 6 move jeopardizes its potential box-office longevity, putting it in competition with second wave summer heavies like Jurassic Park 4 (June 13), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (June 20), and, ironically enough, Michael Bay's other baby, Transformers 4 (June 27). The move was certainly a calculated gamble by Paramount.

One thing is for sure, when Nickelodeon laid down a cool $60 million back in 2009 to purchase the TMNT franchise, they came up with a carefully planned strategy to gets this franchise back to its early 1990's glory days. With the current animated series renewed for a second AND third season, it's clear that they have a lot riding on this tent-pole. The acquisition of a name like Michael Bay (even in just a producer capacity) and now the recent addition of Megan Fox to the cast seems to telegraph their desire to use the monolithically successful Transformers formula of old-school franchise revival. (Explosions, hot chicks in slow motion, ubiquitous product placement, followed by more explosions.)

Will it work? Well, that all depends on how this whole "Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles" angle ultimately plays out.


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Has Its Norman Osborn

It appears that next year's sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has just procured yet another iconic baddie to tangle with 'ole Web-Head. It is being reported that actor, Chris Cooper has landed the role of Norman Osborn, the influential industrialist who's also been known to covort above the skies of New York as the maniacal Green Goblin.

In what is already becoming a cast stacked with big name stars portraying big name characters, the 61 year-old Cooper, known for roles in The Bourne Identity, American Beauty, and The Town will fill the role of one of the most important characters in the Spider-Man mythos with Osborn; a role played by Willem Dafoe in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man film trilogy.

Interestingly enough, Cooper's version of the character may be more nuanced than Dafoe's. Osborn's name and presence were certainly felt in last year's The Amazing Spider-Man, especially with the idea of his company, Oscorp, in looking for a cure for Norman's terminal illness, being responsible for the experiment which accidentally gave Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker his spider-powers. However, the report indicates that Cooper's Norman Osborn, who will juggle a role as father to Peter's friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), may actually start out as a mentor of sorts to the clandestine Wall-Crawler before his eventual "heel turn" into the demented emerald air-gliding pumpkin-bomb-pusher. (Which, in the comics, was the result of a chemical accident, leaving him with multiple personalities.)

What might affirm the idea of the character not stepping into the Goblin costume just yet, is the fact the film already has two major villains lined up with Jamie Foxx as Electro and Paul Giamatti as Rhino. However, the last film implied that Osborn was as a shadowy puppet master behind the scenes of the film's events and we'll certainly see that aspect explored in this sequel. Also, the relationships he establishes with Peter Parker and his girlfriend, Oscorp lab intern, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) will also prove pivotal since Gwen famously meets her death at the Goblin's hands in a 1973 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man that is widely considered to be the culmination of the Silver Age of comic books. (A fate that will most likely be echoed at some point in this film series.)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 remotely pilots its goblin glider to hit theaters on May 2, 2014.


Fantastic Four Reboot Gets Polished


Posted February 27, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

Fantastic Four Reboot Gets Polished

It appears that the long-discussed Fantastic Four reboot project is still on deck over at Twentieth Century Fox. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Seth Grahame-Smith has been brought on board for what is being referred to as some "polish screenwriting." (And that's "polish," the verb, rather than a setup for a potential ethnic joke.)

There was plenty of movement on this project last summer when Josh Trank of Chronicle was brought on board to occupy the director's chair. However, half a year later, we find that very little has progressed with the project, which has been in the works since early 2009 in the more immediate aftermath of the last Fantastic Four film franchise which starred, among others, Jessica Alba and future Captain America, Chris Evans. -- That was, until the recent news that Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class director, Matthew Vaughn was brought on board the film as producer.

Now, it seems that the inertia may have been attributed to issues with the script which was picked up from a relatively unknown commodity in scribe, Jeremy Slater. As a result, the novelist/satirist/screenwriter, Grahame-Smith of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Dark Shadows fame has been brought in to perform a bit of literary feng shui to the existing script by Slater. It does now appear that the studio is providing experienced guidance for the new creative team.

What could this mean for the live action revival of Marvel Comics' radiation-riddled warriors of right?

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Iron Man 3: Revealing New Poster Unveiled

Iron Man 3 has released yet another new poster. However, unlike the character posters we've been getting, this one is serving as a proper welcoming for the March 5 premiere of the film's final trailer. Originally leaking on Tumblr in low-res form, the poster was subsequently posted in official capacity this morning on Yahoo.

Indeed, if the poster is any indication, then next week's trailer should be giving us some new insight into the film's plot...which apparently involves Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark being backed up by a horde of bad-ass-looking Iron Man armors. (Not to mention an Iron Patriot-decked James Rhodes.) While the existing preview trailers have let fans know for some time that The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) will concoct a cruel conspiracy to humble the brash billionaire genius, it seems that the part of this plot involving a dangerous newly developed nanovirus called "Extremis" could ultimately backfire on the sinister self-proclaimed "teacher."

We all know the loose run-down as it now stands: An exploded armor collection, an ostentatious abode reclaimed by the sea, a crashed and beaten Tony forced to take a shivering trek through snow, and rogue pervert Iron Man armors creeping up on Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts while she's asleep in bed. However, several months after witnessing nothing but the initial offense of the bad guys, it is now surely time to get a look at the rebound. Well, the cocky Avenger who once bragged about having "a Hulk" could soon find himself becoming a literal army of one.

Check out the full poster below and wonder if The Mandarin's camouflage pants can handle urine stains.

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The Crow Remake Eyes James McAvoy?


Posted February 25, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

The Crow Remake Eyes James McAvoy?

It appears that the long-discussed remake of The Crow, much like its protagonist, has been brought back from the dead. Not only that, but according to a report from Bloody Disgusting, the latest name being circulated to play the macabre mauler of the menacing is none other than Professor Charles Xavier of the current X-Men film franchise, James McAvoy.

Long delayed, the film seemed to be on the fast-track with its then-rumored star, Bradley Cooper seemingly on board until it was again derailed by a drama-infused lawsuit in 2011 between Relativity Media and The Weinstein Company. However, things seemed to be looking up for the project at the beginning of 2012. While Cooper was out, the creative team of screenwriter, Jesse Wigutow and Spanish director, F. Javier Gutiérrez were hired to get things moving. While there wasn't too many widely-known previous projects between each member of this collaboration, it did appear that the franchise, once glorified by James O'Barr's original comic book title and the 1994 original film starring the late Brandon Lee, was well on its way towards another iteration.

Now, one year since we last heard any substantive news, the Scot-born McAvoy is reportedly close to donning the goth white facepaint to play murdered rocker, Eric Draven. Resurrected by a mystical, mysterious crow, Draven is endowed supernatural powers and Wolverine-like instant healing to carry out vengeance against some stone-cold killers for not only his own death, but the death of his beloved girlfriend.

At this point, nothing has been revealed in regards to the new film's plot, stylistic approach, or even a projected release date. However, it's sure to be a tour de force montage of unapologetic, viciously-violent, and strikingly-satisfying revenge porn against a gritty, dark Detroit's most wretchedly repugnant.


Iron Man 3: New Pepper Potts Poster


Posted February 25, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

Iron Man 3: New Pepper Potts Poster

Iron Man 3 continues to roll out its series of character posters, this time with an Empire exclusive focusing on Gwyneth Paltrow as Tony Stark's love interest and corporate caretaker, Pepper Potts.

While the exact details on the film's plot are still somewhat vague, what is perfectly clear, is that at some point in the film, Iron Man gets his ass handed to him in a huge way. The aftermath of this incident will leave a wave of destruction that won't even exclude his kick-ass pad and collection of armors. However, if we are to go by the tone of this poster, then it appears that the possession which is most precious to him, Pepper, will be left in mourning for her man...at least for a little while.

As Pepper holds the now-familiar imagery of Iron Man's gashed-inflicted empty helmet, it looks like Tony won't be going through this sequel of suffering alone in the build-up to game-changing events with the dreaded Mandarin, his villainous cohorts, and the Extremis nanovirus. While the film will see Tony's old life destroyed, something that is perhaps even more powerful could rise from the sparky remnants.

Iron Man 3 gets ready to file the biggest private insurance claim ever at theaters on May 3. Check out the full Pepper Potts poster below and speculate if she's in mourning or just giving an impromptu performance of Hamlet.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2: New Costume Revealed

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has given fans a look at the new digs that the titular web-head will sport in next year's sequel.

While director, Marc Webb has spent the last month or so dropping numerous tidbits of visual clues about the new film on Twitter, including a small part of Spidey's new mask, it appears that a more substantive look at the new wall-crawling couture would come in the form of this new image, exclusive to ComingSoon.

Indeed, this glimpse at current Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield's new spider-garb shows a more minimal approach compared to the one taken in last year's The Amazing Spider-Man. Gone is the small, sinewy, mesh-like surface which seemed to give Spidey's entire body a graspable consistency that made you wonder if his suit was official NBA gear made by Spalding. In fact, it is a such a purist departure that it does seem to resemble the outfit worn by Tobey Maguire in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy.

However, the most notable modification comes in the form of the super-sized eye screens, relieving Spidey of what would seemingly be a limited field of vision that the last costume afforded him. Ironically enough, this franchise reboot, which started out with an ambitious new take on the classic costume will roll into its sequel with what may be the most comic-book-accurate live-action rendition of the Spider-Man costume, yet.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets tingly Spidey Senses for both Gwen Stacy and Mary-Jane Watson at theaters on May 2, 2014. Check out the full image of the new costume, as well as a comparison pic below!

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: Victory Tour Posters

It appears that this fall's sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has started its promotional campaign with quasi-propaganda posters from Panem's Capital, celebrating the victory of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.

Of course, this "Victory Tour" has nothing to do with the Jackson family and is certainly not genuine. As anyone who saw the film or read the books will tell you, the Capital is doing anything but celebrating the victory of this District 12 duo after they essentially outsmarted the pusillanimous police state, using the politics of the games to break the rules and ensure their collective survival when the rules called for only one winner. Now, touted as "star-crossed" lovers, the spin cycle is full effect to mitigate the damage done to the games itself and its purpose of scaring the population into obedience.

Despite the pomp and circumstance, vengeance is still surely in store for the concocted couple in the form of a 25 year tradition called "The Quarter Quell" which introduces a twist in that year's games. Consequently, the 75th annual Hunger Games will shamelessly redact winners of past games for an all-star edition...of death. As it so happens, Katniss and Peeta could find themselves right in the cross-hairs of the game's most elite killers. It looks like that whole "showmance" angle won't save them this time.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ignites at theaters (metaphorically, of course) on November 22. Check out the full posters below in all their white, shiny, sort of creepy glory.

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Iron Man 3: New Posters Featuring The Mandarin

Iron Man 3 has unveiled yet another character poster which may end up being its most revealing. This time, the film's maniacal mastermind, The Mandarin played by Ben Kingsley takes the spotlight.

While we've already seen bits of this sinister schemer in the various trailers for the film, including the already-famous manifesto monologue in which the villain decries the classification of him being "a terrorist," instead declaring himself "a teacher." Yet these new posters, exclusive to Empire, give us our first real glimpse of him in full-figure view amidst a background that's ripe with clues.

While The Mandarin is certainly Iron Man's main nemesis from the pages of Marvel Comics, this film has given his look and back-story a serious facelift. In the comic title, he was depicted as an exiled and disgraced Chinese aristocrat who encountered a crashed alien spaceship and finds a powerful set of artifacts in the form of 10 mysterious, power-infused rings. He would use their power to build an empire of crime; a situation that would regularly pit him against Iron Man. However, in Iron Man 3, he is an ethnically-ambiguous shadowy leader of a militant group called "The 10 Rings" (presumably named after his bling) who, as those who saw the first film recall, were responsible for the initial kidnapping of Tony Stark, leading to him creating his first Iron Man prototype armor to escape.

Indeed, these posters (which essentially show the same image) visually depicts Kinglsey's Mandarin as an amalgam of the comic Mandarin and Lieutenant Kilgore from Apocalypse Now. While we're not sure if he too enjoys the smell of napalm in the morning, he does seem to appreciate an Asian aesthetic and plotting malevolent machinations to make Tony Stark suffer in the most definitive way.

This "teacher" makes his debut when Iron Man 3 hits theaters on May 3. In the meantime, check out the full posters below and ponder about who does his decorating.

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Megan Fox Joins Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reboot

It appears that the upcoming Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot project, tentatively titled, Ninja Turtles, will be a reunion of sorts. Bay himself has confirmed on his website that the one and only Megan Fox will return to "the family," cast in the reptilian reboot film. The (extremely strong) assumption is that she will play the Turtles' cute and constantly-kidnapped cohort, April O'Neil.

Indeed, the casting news falls within the "hell has frozen over" category, especially after the highly-publicized "he said, she said" behind-the-scenes drama between Fox and director, Bay on the set of his 2009 franchise sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Long story short, they found each other incredibly-impossible to work with, culminating in Fox making a serious infraction of Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies when the inked-up ingenue dropped the "H" word when referring to Bay.

Now, four long years later, the sexy starlet, since then becoming a wife and mother, has let this rivalry, much like Jennifer's Body and Jonah Hex, fizzle out. Now back under the Bay tent-pole, she could be gearing up for a career comeback of sorts, possibly playing the iconic TV reporter with a thing for giant anthropomorphic turtles...and occasionally, vigilantes in hockey masks.

With that being said, the Transformers trustee is still only serving in the capacity of producer for this TMNT reboot, which, according to Bay, will depict the foursome being reinvented as aliens. -- Yeah. So, while the reunion with Hollywood's auteur of explosions seems to indicate the hatchet has been buried, Fox will nevertheless be working with a more immediate overseer in director, Jonathan Liebesman. (Wrath of the Titans, Battle Los Angeles.)

Ninja Turtles busts out of alien space sewers for pizzas covered in pineapple, marshmallow, and anchovies at theaters on May 16, 2014.



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